The 164 year old historic town of Fazilka in the District Ferozepur, also known as Bangla the first political officer stationed in this area was Mr.Vans Agnew. He built a bungalow near the horse-shoe lake at Badha and the place came to be known as bangla,(a new name given to the new establishment by the people) It is located in southwestern Punjab (INDIA), about 325 km west of Punjab State Capital Chandigarh 85 km south-west of the district Headquarters Ferozepur and 200 km south of Amritsar Fazilka is near the India-Pakistan border which is 11 km away. It is situated on the rice growing and cotton rich belt of the state and is one of the major rice exporting centers in India. Before partition, the town was the biggest wool market in undivided Punjab.
Fazilka's origin dates back to 1844 CE. It was established by Mr. Vans Agnew and was christened after the original owner of the land, Mian Fazil Watoo.A payment of Rs 144 and annas eight was paid to his descendants in 1877 from panchayat fund and named the place after Mian Fazil Watoo(Lambardar)as FAZILKA. Being at the border, Fazilka also had to bear the brunt of India-Pakistan partition in 1947 and the two Indo-Pak wars of 1965 and 1971. After the death of Mr Agnew Mr Oliver of East India Company took over as station in charge.
Much before 1800 AD, Guru Nanak Dev Ji paid his visit to Fazilka district during (1517-1521). His final longest journey (Udassi) lasted over four years towards west mainly Baghdad, Mecca and Medina. At present Gurdwara Bad Tirath Sahib at village Haripura is situated at that location. Gurdwara Bad Tirath Sahib located on the Abohar-Ganga Nagar road, three kilometers from Khuian Sarwar town. It is Seventeen kilometers from Abohar and about 26km from Fazilka district headquarter.
The municipality was formed via Punjab Government notification no. 486, dated 10 December 1885. The town was added to the Ferozepur district in 1884. On 27 July 2011, Fazilka was declared a District by Government of Punjab vide their Gazette Notification No. 1/1/2011-RE-II(I)/14554 dated July 27, 2011 consisting three subdivisions Fazilka, Jalalabad and Abohar besides three sub-tehsils Arniwala Sheikh Suban, Sito Guno and Khuian Sarwar
As of 2001 India census, Fazilka had a population of 67,424. Males constitute 52% of the population and females 48%. Fazilka has an average literacy rate of 68%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 72%, and female literacy is 62%. In Fazilka, 13% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Interesting Facts About Fazilka:
- Five Fazilite have been awarded with Padma Award, highest civilian honour of the country. Late Kanwar Surinder Singh Bedi awarded twice, Padamshri in 1966 and Padam Bhushan in 1972 for playing an important role as deputy commissioner Amritsar during Two wars with Pakistan. Famous veteran singer and actor Fazilite Pushpa Hans in the year 2007 was awarded with Padamshri. World Famous Neurosurgeon Fazilite Dr Jagjit Singh Chopra was awarded with Padam Bhushan in the year 2008 for their valuable contribution in the field of Medicine and in the year 2009 Bhai Nirmal Singh Ragi awarded with PadamShri.
- Fazilka Tilla Jutii is registered as a Geographical Indicator to the Name of Fazilka under Patent Act of India. Fazilka Tilla Jutti was the First Choice of Ex. President of India Late Giani Jail Singh, Ex. Chief Minister of Punjab Late Shiri Partap Singh Kairo, Late Shiri Beant Singh Ji and Late Shiri Darbara Singh. Presently Fazilka Tilla Jutti is the the first choice of Badal Family, and Shiri Sukbir Badal, M.P. Faridkot visit every year Fazilka to buy Jutti. Many Bollywood stars and singers mainly Gurdass Mann, Juhi Chawla likes Fazilka Jutti.
- Before Partition Fazilka Was the Biggest Wool Market in the Asia and it was established by British as one of the main trading Town. British named 10 steamer ships to the name of their favorite trading town and they named First Single Cylinder Steam Ship of the World “FAZILKA” in the year 1890 (South Africa).
- Abohar Black Buck Sanctuary - Spread over an area of about 18,650 hectares, the Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary is unique in that it is an open sanctuary, comprising farmlands of 13 Bishnoi villages. Herds of black buck, the indigenous antelope, with their distinctive twisted horns, can be found wandering freely through the villages and even homes.
- Fazilak TV Tower - Fazilka TV Tower, often nicknamed the Fazilka Eiffel Tower is one of the largest steel tower in India standing at 302.6 mts
- Sadqi Retreat Ceremony - Sadiqivillage on the India- Pakistan border in Punjab’s Fazilka district is third joint checkpost after Wagah in Amritsar and Hussainiwala in Ferozepur district where retreat ceremony is performed every evening by the Border Seceurity Force and the Pakistan Rangers. Sadiqi Border post is 14 kms from Fazilka
- Asafwala War Memorial - Just seven kilometers away from Fazilka town on National Highway No 10 (now 7), Aasafwala Shaheedon Ki Samadh- a sacred memorial and War Museum in the remembrance of the martyrs of 1971 war between Indo-Pak is managed by "Shaheedo Ki Samadh Committee Aasafwala (Fazilka).
- Tosha Sweet - A traditional Punjabi sweetmeat, has been a favourite with both Indians and Pakistanis for generations, One of the shop "Pakpattnian Di Hatti” who owns three outlets in Fazilka is making this delicacies from Generations and have migrated from Pakistan here after partition